Employers' view on studies abroad

RAPPORT Publicerad

During the spring of 2010 the Confederation of Swedish Enterprise conducted its annual survey of labor market participation after graduation, based on telephone interviews with more than 3,850 students. The results showed that studies abroad have a positive effect on the student's chances in the job market after graduation. 23 % of respondents stated that they had studied or conducted work practice abroad some time during their studies. Out of these, 48 % stated that the time abroad has had significant or very significant part in landing them their first job. Students who had spent time abroad also had an average of 807 SEK more in monthly entry pay.

But how should these numbers be interpreted? Has it all to do with ambitious students, who would have an easier time finding a job than others anyway? Are students who conduct part or all of their studies abroad really more attractive in the labor market? What do employers say?

This report is the first in Sweden to more comprehensively affirm that international experience in the form of studies or work practice is crucial and attractive in the labor market. When employers are asked what skills they look for, and the answers are compared to the skills employers find that students attain during time abroad, a clear connection shows. Employers find, i.e., that students develop communicative skills, social competence, flexibility and initiative ability during time abroad. These skills are also sought after by almost all employers.